Nigeria: Lagos Commences Second Phase of Polio Vaccination Campaign

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Nigeria: Lagos Commences Second Phase of Polio Vaccination Campaign

Debo Omilani

Debo Omilani has been practicing journalism for about seven years. He is a committedand dedicated journalist with a passion for reporting newsworthy events without bias.
The Lagos State Government, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commenced the second phase of the 2019 Polio Vaccination Campaign which was preceded by a sensitisation training for health reporters and journalists, ahead of the statewide polio vaccine administration.
Speaking at the training exercise on Monday, the Permanent Secretary Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Tayo Lawal, disclosed the level of progress that had been made to eradicate polio and drastically reduce the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases.
According to him,  the objectives of the campaign are aimed at halting the spread of the polio virus in Lagos State, increasing the coverage of immunised children against vaccine-preventable diseases, reducing the number of unimmunised children as well as improving the immunity of the environment against the Wild Polio Virus.
He noted that currently, Nigeria has been identified as one of the spots recording endemic cases of Polio, hence the need to sensitise the public on the need to imunize every child in order to prevent child-disability or death.
“To ensure the success of the second leg of this year’s campaign which is being conducted by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMoH), and Lagos State Primary Health Care Board (LSPHCB) with support from health development partners such as WHO, UNICEF, CDC-AFENET and Rotary International, several training workshops have been organised to strengthen the capacity of health workers/vaccinators and social mobilisers across the State, Local Government and Ward levels”, the Permanent Secretary stated.
He added that the State Government has equally embarked on public and media sensitisation and awareness campaigns through town hall meetings; community dialogues; mosque/church announcements; sensitisation campaigns in schools; and advocacy meetings with LGA Executives and key traditional and religious leaders as well as volunteers from development partners such as UNICEF, Rotary Club International to mention but a few.
According to Dr. Lawal, “the polio vaccination campaign would involve house-to-house, transit and fixed post teams. Children at homes, markets, churches, mosques, major car parks and social event venues would be specifically targeted”.
“The house-to-house and transit components of these teams comprising of 7381 trained personnel will administer only OPV to children aged 0–59 months irrespective of their immunisation status. They will also encourage the eligible children in the houses to visit the immunisation posts located within all our primary health care  centres and general hospitals for the other antigens. The operations will be between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily”, Dr. Lawal said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Titilayo Gonclaves also used the opportunity to call on Lagosians to key into the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) which is a mandatory package for every member of the family including children.
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